Motivational Monday Moment – 02.05.18

Happy Monday! Today’s Motivational Monday Moment came to me as I was sitting in church yesterday. I’ve been really going through it. Letting the negativity of co-parenting and the stresses associated with it weigh me down. It was weighing on my spirit.  I couldn’t get out of the funk and distress every time I received an email. It was overwhelming.

Everyone kept trying to encourage my spirit and make me feel better. But, they couldn’t. I knew who could and I wasn’t going to Him with my problems. I was trying to let man handle and help me through this situation. But, man was ill equipped because only God could.

Can I just tell you that when I went to church yesterday that the message was so on time. I had to remember that I am covered. I’m covered by the blood. God is the shepherd and I’m part of his flock and when I gave my life to Him He covered me. I’m protected. I just sighed. God was speaking to me yesterday.

Stay with me now. God was telling me that the is battle is already won because he has fought and protected me from so much now that I should know better. He was speaking to my soul. I was sitting there with amazing awe in my spirit because he was reminding me that no weapon formed against me shall prosper.

I had a shifting in my spirit yesterday morning. I was so busy being distracted by things that God doesn’t want me to focus on. I was being distracted by man instead of focusing on Him. I realized that I needed to do a couple of things. I needed to fast and pray and give it all to God in earnest. Not the “Oh, I’m going to see what God can do way. I mean full on give it to Him because He’s always protected me way.”

God was so generous to me yesterday because when I took my nap after church God gave me a dream that eased all my fears. My fears are always about Munch. God showed me that Munch was going to be okay. I just had to trust Him and lean not on my own understanding but that of God. He is the one that can truly handle any and every situation I find myself in.

Man, when I tell you that I’m in a different place than I’ve been in months, that was God. The Holy Spirit showed up and showed out yesterday and I am better for it. I am going to truly let Him work through this situation as He sees fit.

I’ve never fasted before and this is the first time that I’m ever attempting, but God wants me to fast and pray and turn it all over to Him. So, I am trusting that. I’m disconnecting from FaceBook for a minute and just going to journal, write, fast and pray. I’ll still blog. I’ll still be around. I just have to get together mentally and physically for the battle that is ahead.

My Motivational Monday Moment is simply to know that you are protected. You are covered by the blood because whom He has set free is free indeed. Whether you are going through your own storm or facing your own Goliath or trying to break the stronghold of the devil, know that you are covered. Know that this battle is one that can be fought if you stayed prayed up and covered.

This week’s video selection is from the movie The Gospel and I’ve chosen “Now Behold the Lamb” sung by  Tamyra Gray from American Idol. She sang the heck out of this song. This song speaks to my spirit in ways that you’ll never know, but it further planted and watered the seeds the pastor preached yesterday. I pray that this song speaks to you. In it she sings:

Even when I broke, broke your heart 
My sins tore us apart
But I’m standin’ right here in the midst of my tears
I claim you to be the lamb of God
New life can begin, yeah 
For you washed away, washed away everyone of my sins
Whom the Son sets free is truly free indeed 
I claim you to be the lamb of God

You are covered by the blood. Even when you think you’ve been forgotten and you still sin God is still God and He forgives. He washes away your sins. You are because He is. We are because He is. He is the Lamb of God.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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Women Of Color – Beautiful For So Many Unrecognized Reasons

That being said, me being a creative man, I gravitate toward things that are colorful and vibrant. By colorful, I mean that literally and figuratively. Women of color just astonish me. That means, Indian, Native American, African, Latin, Arabian, Polynesian, Asian and anyone else I left out.

Why do I Love Women of Color?

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Not just because of a skin color, but because of the heritage, the culture they all come from and the history of said culture.

From the beauty and vocals of Dorothy Dandridge, to the dancing grace of Maria TallChief.  Or, we can easily tout the powerful presence of Eva Peron or Tejano vocalist Selena Quintanilla-Peréz. What about the eminence of Hatsheput or the Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement Rosa Parks? I find all of them the most attractive. Not just physically but on a much more profound level.

What About That Look?

That being said, I can’t leave out the physical aspect. The facial features, the various skin complexions, tones, contours and hair textures. Did I mention the accents? There’s nothing like a Latin woman born in the Northeastern section of the United States. Or, a woman born in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic or Costa Rica. What about the culture and beauty of an African woman from Nigeria, Somalia or Ethiopia? The storied history behind those countries’ women and all that comes with the heritage. What about an African-American women from all-over the United States? They themselves bring a certain uniqueness that I find most sexy.

From their  level of intellect, charisma and fortitude, to their independent yet humble nature. That melanin carries historical perseverance and pride, while the tensity of their hair represents the strength of their people. How can you not find that beautiful?

 

These women are more than just a beholding of beauty to me. They are the very definition of perseverance and inner strength. Which, is so much more significant when you view women of color.  You must look beyond the surface.

Women of Color Are Profound

Think of the native African or even the African-American woman and what they or their ancestors endured and continue to encounter in today’s society. Slavery, War, Segregation, Racism, Sexism, Discrimination, Genocide are all trials embedded within their beings. When you look at a woman from these cultures, you have to see more than a face. More than pulchritude. More than sexual commodity to be had. They are the essence of overcoming an oppressive state of being.

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Photo Credit: Marc de Groot

Women of color are born into a world where they are automatically at a deficit because of their gender. Even with the feminist movement and the rapid advancement of women’s rights on the rise in the United States and other countries. Women are still at a bigger disadvantage than their male counterparts. Add to that, a lot of these women are born into cultures where they are beneath the men and have to scratch and claw their way to prominence. There’s a certain beauty in that… a certain sex appeal. And a definite strength.

 

The Deficit

In a earlier blog I spoke about, “Dating and the Plight of the Black Woman.” I highlighted the literal canyon of obstacles black women have to overcome just to be seen as intelligent, desirable and beautiful in the dating world when compared against women of other cultures. To give you a small example, I want you to do something for me:

  1. Pull up another window on your phone, tablet or laptop.
  2. Do a google search on, “beautiful women.”
  3. Click on images.

What did you see? What did you notice?

5 out of the first 100 images are of women of color. I would’ve gone farther, but I chose not too. You have already received my point. Women of color are not considered, “as-beautiful-as…” white women.  This is the deficit that women of color face. They already have to work 5 times harder just to be viewed as beautiful. Can you imagine how difficult that is, in the world of modeling and fashion alone? That is unacceptable. However, as shown above, it’s a harsh reality for women of color.

Hadley Freeman from, theguardian.com states in her article about black women and fashion…

Black models never, with single-digit exceptions in a decade, appear on the cover of major fashion magazines, because, as the black model Jourdan Dunn told the Guardian last year,“people in the industry say if you have a black face on the cover of a magazine it won’t sell.”

 

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My Final Take

That is how black beauty is viewed the world over. Vogue, Elle, GQ, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, L’Officiel, Harper’s Bazaar, and more… rarely place women of color, let alone black women on their covers.

I for one, believe that all women are beautiful in their own unique way. No matter how they pull up in a google search or if they regularly grace the cover of internationally syndicated fashion magazines. Women of color will always be beautiful to me, inside and out.

February is Black History Month

Black History is American History. We are all part of this fabric that makes up the quilt of America. However, the story of our history has been downplayed in the history books that it is pathetic. We have to teach our children the truth. If you don’t know your history you are bound to repeat it.

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As evident as to the times right now in the U.S. I stand with everyone. I don’t play with Christianity and I don’t play with my love for this country. Which is why I have the right to criticize her when she’s wrong.

But, in the midst of all this drama that is occurring here in the U.S. I want to remind you that it’s never to early to start to teach our children about Black History. I started when Munch was 6 and learning to read. He did a report on black history and I wanted to try and fill in the blanks. Munch has an extensive school schedule but I wanted to spend time with him this month focusing on our history outside of his French and English curriculum. I want to fill in the blanks for him and allow him the opportunity to know what it means to say “I’m black and I’m proud”.

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Pride and self-love are very important in any race. I’m teaching him to love the skin he’s in. You can’t change it. It’s beautiful. You’re beautiful and wanted.

So, my black history month reading list for Munch includes the following 4 books:

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What are you doing to teach your children about black history month? Do you have any suggested reading material for an 8 year old?

My Truth

An absolutely great read in honor of Women’s History Month and Black History Month too. Check her out at http://www.gingerfunksblog.com

EMBRACING MY INNER GINGER

Do you ever find something you wrote a long time ago and amaze yourself with how smart you were?  Sometimes I think we need to remind ourselves how much we really know.  Many times we know the answers to the questions we are asking but ignore them because they aren’t the answers we want. 

Truth. Honesty.  It’s amazing how speaking the truth does so much for one’s well being.  Being honest with yourself.  That is the key.  Why do we lie to ourselves?  Sometimes we are even afraid of our own truth.  Amazing.  Once we begin being truly honest with ourselves can we open up and allow the truth to flow around us.

Trust not just in other people but in ourselves!  That is the real truth.  Knowing ourselves and what we want.
Taking ego and fear out of the outcome.  Speaking your truth just frees you.  No matter the…

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Randomness on Leap Year!

Yes, it’s the last day of February and leap year. How awesome is that? I woke up this morning with a renewed sense of purpose and actually well rested. So, let me tell you six random things on this beautiful leap year day.

  • My son sang with the Sunbeam choir at church yesterday for the Black History Month Presentation. He looked so cute in his little dress shirt and bow tie. Very handsome. However, he continued to wave at me and his family most of the performance and at one point in the service I thought he had caught the holy spirit with his dancing and singing. It was hard to tell. I just smiled at the boy who gives me so much joy.
  • I didn’t see Mr. C this weekend at all. Can you believe it? It’s the first time in 5 months that I haven’t seen him on a Saturday. It was weird. He felt bad, but it was cool. I hung out with my girlfriend Saturday night for some much-needed quality time. She’s trying to convince me to come to Vegas in May and as much as I want to I can’t do it. It’s not the money as much as the time frame. I can’t do it then. Ugh!
  • I took off my acrylic nails and got a manicure Friday night. My nail tech is the best. I make bi-weekly hair and nail maintenance a part of my budget. I am now rocking my “real nails” and hopefully I won’t bite them off. It truly is a bad habit. But, don’t my nails look cute though?

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  • I’m in full party planning mode for Munch’s 8th birthday party on April 30th. His birthday falls on a Saturday this year and he told me that he wanted a pool party. All the dang swimming pools are booked on his birthday. I was explaining this to him and he said, “What does booked mean?” Ugh! I hate those type of questions because I feel like I can’t explain it to him in 7-year-old terms. We are having a Sonic birthday party.
  • I got some boxes and started taping them up this weekend for the move. I have so much to do and I’m looking around overwhelmed. I am praying for strength because moving sucks and it can be a lot. I just have to keep motivating myself to do something everyday so that I won’t be crunching it at the last-minute.
  • It’s the last day of Black History Month and I didn’t get a chance to highlight some of the people who I wanted to. I thought okay, I can spend time over the next 12 months highlighting some folks of notable interest. I don’t have to stop in February. I can keep going and that’s what I’m planning to do. People that I know. Some that I don’t that are making a difference in the community.

 

That’s about all the randomness going on right now. I hope you have a wonderful Monday and leap year!

 

My Baby is Black and Beautiful

Yes, he is. Can you tell that I’m proud? Just a little huh? This week has been a rough one, but I’m happy to say that we finished the PTSA program last night with my sweet munch doing an awesome job.

The PTSA program was a hit. All the children and performances were wonderful. I love his school. They encourage these children and let me tell you that the PTSA is very active and encouraging to me as a parent. For that, I am thankful.

Munch looked handsome for the ladies last night. Which is what he said. He actually told me that he wanted to wear this shirt and tie because he would say “Good-bye men and Hello Ladies!” WTH? I was floored.

He did look handsome though and his black is beautiful.

Here are some pictures:
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If you would like to check out his video of the performance, you can watch it below:

 

And So It Begins

Today is going to be a L-O-N-G day. Munch’s project was due today. No exceptions. It was another rainy day in Maryland and I had to use a large trash bag to cover his project up so that it didn’t get wet. We worried over that this morning at 7 am. But, I’m happy to say that we completed it.
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I told Munch to return the trash bag today so that we waste not want not. LOL. Don’t judge me. I ran outside to tell the before care driver to please make sure that Munch doesn’t leave his project in the van. It can’t be late or he will get a zero. He said okay. Kisses good-bye to my beautiful son and then I had to rush to get ready.

I had a follow-up doctor’s appointment on my right shoulder that’s been bothering me for the last month. I had the MRI’s done on Monday so I was anxious to find out what the heck is going on with me. The pain was subdued now because of the medications. I can actually go a whole 24 hours without a pain pill.

The results were inconclusive. No major damage. No spinal damage. No pinched nerves. He recommended therapy 2 times a week for the next 4 weeks and then follow-up again. Ugh! I then rushed to work in another rainy mess of a day.

I get to work and begin working and looked down to check my messages and found out that my son left his book bag in the van. The front office called me. Ugh! A call and a couple of text messages to the director of the center. He needs his book bag. His lunch and Tae Kwan Do uniform are in it. The director called back to say he would bring it. I called the school and said that Munch can eat at the cafeteria because I have money on his account.

Tonight is his presentation on Maya Angelou for the PTSA’s Black History Month Program. I’m excited. I wrote the speech yesterday and we worked on it last night. My best friend said, “Let me see it. She was your literary hero so the report is probably too long.” He cut it in half. Ugh! Munch will probably like it better.

I will let you know how it worked out tomorrow. Wish us luck!